The Sysadmin Survival Guide

The Sysadmin Survival Guide

Posted on July 27, 2018 0 Comments

Today marks the 18th Sysadmin day since it was first founded by Ted Kekatos on July 28th, 2000. In honor of Sysadmin day—and the daily struggle of all IT Professionals, we present to you the Sysadmin Survival Guide, a collection of the best sysadmin resources from here at Defrag This aimed at giving you a fighting chance to make it to another sysadmin day.


If you’re not a sysadmin, let these articles be a lesson: being a sysadmin is a hard, often thankless job, so next time you see your sysadmin, say thank you. And for the love of god, don’t ask them what they do.

Evolving Your Skills


(via XKCD)

We live in a world of rapid change. New IT technologies pop up constantly, sometimes rendering manual administration tasks obsolete. This can be nerve wracking as pundits predict that many of our jobs will eventually be replaced by a machine. But, in the spirit of celebrating Sysadmin Day, breathe a sigh of relief because there is great news about your future. Employment growth for sysadmins is projected to increase 8 percent by 2024. 

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Great – right? Well, there’s a catch here. IT technology, business conditions, and even how end-users interface with apps and services will continue to evolve. That means the roles and responsibilities of sysadmins will also need to evolve to keep pace. Here are 4 ways to avoid obsolescence. 

The Importance of Soft Skills

Unfortunately, technical skills aren’t the only skills required in a sysadmin position. No matter how good your scripting is, or how strong your network configuration skills are, you’ll still have to deal with the buggiest devices of all—users. To make those interactions as harmless as possible, its best to keep a sharp edge on your soft skills. Check out our guide.

Managing Stress


Unfortunately, stress is a part of any job—and being a sysadmin can be a particularly stressful position. You’ve got users, servers, bosses, and intruders to worry about, and not enough time to deal with it all. Deadlines start piling up, resources are stretched thin and before you know it, your cholesterol levels read more like a lopsided basketball game than a healthy screening. For sysadmins, managing the stress in IT is as critical as any data backup routine. In this article, we detail some of the secrets to managing stress in the workplace. Take a look, it just might save your life.

Keep it Secret, Keep it Safe


Ensuring IT networks are consistently compliant and secure when resources are lacking is enough to make any seasoned IT pro’s skin crawl. While a sysadmin's job isn't strictly security and compliance, lets face it: you need to wear many hats, and you need to be ready for the worst. And, while your boss may not know exactly what you do, he'll sure as hell know who to blame when something goes wrong. 

This eBook will help you gain a better understanding of what your executives and auditors expect from you, and ways you can better protect and prepare your IT team. Check it out.

Jeff Edwards

Jeff Edwards is a tech writer and analyst with three years of experience covering Information Security and IT. Jeff has written on all things cybersecurity, from APTs to zero-days, and previously worked as a reporter covering Boston City Hall.


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